An Important Book With A New Perspective on Being Black in America // Thoughts on The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Hate U Give

Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 28th 2017
Format: eBook
Rating:
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Goodreads

Going into this book, I had such high expectations and I am so glad to say that they have definitely surpassed them. I don't think I really did much research about this book before I read it, so I had a vague gist of what the plot was about. Even without reading the book yet, I knew it was going to bring up and confront many racial issues our society is facing today. Let me just say, Thomas beautifully confronts and handles different issues of our society and gives a whole other perspective on what it is like to be a black person today.

The Hate U Give is written by an #OwnVoices author, which means that the story and characters are written by an author who has basically experienced the same things the characters may have experienced. (Disclaimer: I don't know if that's the exact definition but that's how I interpret the term) The opinions regarding racism and racial equality that comes from this book aren't from some white person trying to understand what it may be like to be a black person in our society, no. They're based off (what I'm assuming are) experiences. The Hate U Give confronts may issues of our society: racial profiling, stereotypes, police brutality, gang violence, drugs, white-privilege, so and so on. 

I admit, I have been fortunate enough to grow up in a place where I don't experience many of the issues I just listed. However, that doesn't mean I'm oblivious to it. I read about the police shootings, brutality, and racial profiling incidents all the time. It's such a legit issue in our society, I'm surprised it took this long for someone to write about issues like these ones. Thomas does a great job writing about the story. The book is long, yes, but every part is so important. The 464 pages cover a lot and I'm glad this wasn't the type of book that had unnecessary parts and sections where the book drags on. Each character has a purpose towards the story and no character can be deemed as the "plain, characterless, side character."

Speaking of characters, I am in love with the character development that goes on through the book. Starr experiences a lot throughout the 464 pages of The Hate U Give and all those experiences lead her to become a better and stronger person. It's not even Starr who has some fabulous character development! It's Chris, and DeVante, and Kenya, and Maya who all grow a lil' throughout the story. Thomas does a great job developing side characters, well enough that these people get character development too.

Another thing I loved about this book was the humor and moments that made me laugh in this book. The Hate U Give deals with some serious issues and has some heavy topics within it but through it all, I had some great laughing moments. I definitely had some fun reading the slang and voice Thomas wrote in. It was really realistic, something I didn't expect this book to have, and something that I actually understood. I don't use a lot of slang but growing up in the Bay, you catch a little of it. ;)

With all that is going on today, the racial inequality, the racial profiling, the sterotyping, The Hate U Give is such an important book for people everywhere. I am so happy for all the success The Hate U Give has recieved since its publication and I definitely think that it is worth the read. The book is super hyped but honestly, it most definitely lives up to it. Read this book, it will truly change you.